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To Stir the Imagination

Speech by Ysmael V. Baysa

Blessing & Inauguration YVB-SCO

September 28, 2016


Good afternoon! I hope you like your room!

I can tell you honestly that this looks even better than the board room of the Jollibee Foods Corporation! And I don’t think Ateneo De Manila, De La Salle or the University of the Philippines has an equivalent quality of room designated to its students! So, to the student, you may say you have something they don’t have.

Allow me to tell you some details about refurbishment of this facility.

First, everything you see inside is brand new! Except for the building structure, everything inside is 100% brand new!  The ceiling, the windows, the wood panels, the movable partitions, the carpets are truly fresh.

Second, everything furniture and equipment that are installed here truly of top notch quality!  The sound system, TV monitor and projector are top of the line from Bose Speaker System, Sony and Epson. You will see the high definition projector and hear the high fidelity sounds later what will find is that now, the College of Business and Accountancy has a really nice home theatre.

The furniture are all imported or made of imported materials. The desks are custom built for this room and are designed to be easily re-arranged, or set aside. Later, I will introduce to you the people rebuilt this room.

The question that may be running at the back of your minds is: Why did I go to the trouble of making it like this? Why did we have to put in top of the line equipment and materials here, when lesser ones may do, functionally?

As part of my work, I go to and have meetings in some of the most impressive corporate offices in the financial centers of the world: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco. These are the offices of some of the world’s largest banks and fund managers. The assets they manage are measured in billions, even hundreds of billions of dollars. They have these very impressive conference rooms and many have truly breathtaking views of their cities like that of San Francisco Bay or of Central Park in New York City.

When you are in one of those rooms, I realize that my thoughts move somewhat differently. You become more introspective. You begin to have a stronger sense of how big and powerful these financial institutions are. And you begin to understand why they may see the worlds so differently from yours. You also get somehow awakened to the fact that your daily concerns are still narrow and small compared to what see out there and what is possible. You begin to imagine bigger things.

And so, I now say, we took the trouble to make room as good as this in order to stir the imagination: not just to improve the functional usefulness of this room; that is the easy part-but to stir the imagination of those who enter and study here, our students and faculty members.

We intentionally designed this place to be so different from other parts of the campus. One two enters here may feel he or she may as well be in Manila or Hong Kong or London, or some other places abroad. In other words, a place there are few boundaries.

Here, I hope that the students set aside for some moments their daily routine and concerns so that their minds are free to wander. Most of all, I hope that here, they begin asking beautiful questions. Or thinking of creative solutions. At any rate inspired by what is possible.

One suggestion I have for simulating this process is to have a showing here of video recording of talks or speeches of great business leaders to a group of select students using our audio-visual facility. An open discussion will follow, aided by guide questions and facilitated by a faculty member or an invited resource. I think that will be a very interesting learning dynamic.

Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

I hope that more than gaining knowledge, this room will help stir the imagination of our students and inspire them to go explorations and adventures in building their professions and businesses.

I would like to thank Dean Paz L. Bobadilla for encouraging and supporting me in pursuing this project and in facilitating the coordination of the project construction with the University resources. Dean Paz, thank you for your wholehearted support and encouragement. Let us thank our Architect, Mr. Larry Fajarda and his assistant Mr. Leopoldo Salcedo for diligently and faithfully managing the refurbishment of this room and overall project. They did these while I was working in Manila or abroad practically all of that time (we actually worked on this project mostly via e-mails and text messages!). They are my friends, part of my high school “barkada”  that is one of the joys of my life.

Let us also thank our main supplier of furniture and fixtures.  Contract Design represented here by Ms. Rachelle Dayo. The firm is based in Quezon City and had projects with some of the largest corporations in the country like Globe Telecom and Asia Brewery. Rachelle and their staff helped develop the aesthetic look of this room through the choices of materials and through computer-aided graphics.

But most of all, my biggest thanks go to my wife, for all the support and inspiration. She has been always supportive of my endeavors not just at work but also of my social projects such as the basketball activities in our community and the maintenance of the lighting of the Sariaya church Emma, who is a doctor of industry by the way is the coordinator of our parish council at the Sta. Maria della Strada in Quezon City. She’s essentially the Chief Operating Officer of the parish working there practically on the full time basis.

And finally, my thanks got to my children and Daniel and Marielle. They, together with my wife Emma are my biggest source of joy, inspiration, love and fun! There is no higher pleasure for me than to just being with them!  I also would like to thank my sisters who are with us: ate Helen and ate Emily.

Let us all look forward to the imagination that this room with inspire upon our students and faculty members, with the blessing of our God Almighty! We thank our Lord for all his blessing particularly on this feast Day of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz whose intercession we invoke. May our God truly bless this room, helping all the people who enter and study here, to learn and to grow according to God’s will and plan.

Enjoy the room! Once again. A very happy and blessed afternoon.